ARE WE LISTENING
Rev. Don Rivers
I touched on a subject at Chapel a few weeks ago at Thompson and I wanted to
explore it a little further. How close is our relationship with God? Have we
given God total control of our lives? Are we following His directions?
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You are struggling to find the right setup for your car. You feel
you have tried everything you can think of but the car just does not
respond. What do you do? You start asking questions of people who have
experience dealing with the chassis you run. Maybe you start at the
manufacturer or you go to the car builder. You may seek out a crew chief who
has had success in the past making a similar car go fast. You hire him and
give him control of the team. You let him use his experience and make the
Why then, when we get to point in our lives that we decide to give
our life to Christ, do we hold something back; we are not willing to give
him full control. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus asks the question;
LUKE 6:46; "Why do you call me,
`Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
Imagine how long a crew chief would stick around if you didn’t let
him have the authority to make changes? I am sure we have all experienced
the frustration of having the responsibility to work something out but we
don’t have the authority to make the changes we feel are necessary make it
work out. A crew chief who doesn’t have the authority to make changes would
soon get frustrated and move on. I am thankful that Jesus has more patience
with us when we fail to follow His guidance and direction.
Once there was this very wealthy young man. He lived in a great,
elaborate house with dozens of rooms. There were paintings and sculptures;
Crystal chandeliers, golden, ornate railings on the stairs. More beauty than
many had ever seen.
One day he invited the Lord to come into his life and live with
him. When the Lord arrived, this young man offered him the very best room in
the house. The room was upstairs and at the end of the hall. “This room is
yours, Jesus! Stay as long as you like and you can do whatever you want to
in this room, remember Jesus, its all yours.”
That evening after he had retired for the night there came a loud
knocking at the front door. The young man pulled on his robe and made his
way downstairs. When he opened the door he found that the devil had sent
three of his demons to attack the man. He quickly tried to close the door
but one of the demons kept sticking his foot in. Sometime later, after a
great struggle, he managed to slam the door shut and returned to his room
”Can you believe that”, “the man thought. “Jesus is upstairs in my
very best room sleeping while I am down here battling demons. Oh, well,
maybe he just didn’t hear”. He slept fitfully that night.
The next day things went along as normal and, being tired as he
was, the young man retired early that evening. Along about midnight, there
came such a terrible ruckus at the front door that the young man was sure
that whatever it was would tear the door down. He stumbled down the stairs
once again and opened the door to find that were dozens of demons now trying
to get into his beautiful home.
For more than three hours he fought and struggled against the
demons from hell and finally overtook them enough to shut the door against
their attack. All energy seemed to fail him. He really didn’t understand
this at all. “Why won’t the Lord come to my rescue? Why does he allow me to
fight all by myself? I feel so alone”. Troubled, he found his way to the
sofa and fell into a restless sleep.
The next morning he decided to inquire of the Lord about the
happenings of the last two evenings. Quietly he made his way to the elegant
bedroom where he had left Jesus.
”Jesus,” he called as he tapped at the door. “Lord, I don’t
understand what is happening. For the last two nights I have had to fight
the demons away from my door while you laid up here sleeping. Don’t you care
about me? Did I not give you the very best room in the house?”
”My precious child,” Jesus spoke so softly. “I do love and care for
you. I protect all that you have released into my care. But when you invited
me to come here and stay, you brought me to this lovely room and you shut
the door to the rest of your house. I am Lord of this room but I am not
Master of this house. I have protected this room and no demon may enter
”Oh, Lord, please forgive me. Take my entire house; it is yours. I
am so sorry that I never offered you all to begin with. I want you to have
control of everything.” With this he flung open the bedroom door and knelt
at Jesus’ feet. ”Please forgive me Lord for being so selfish.”
Jesus smiled and told him that He had already forgiven him and that
He would take care of things from now on. That night as the young man
prepared for bed he thought, “I wonder if those demons will return, I am so
tired of fighting them each and every night.” But he knew that Jesus said
that he would take care of things from now on.
Along about midnight the banging on the door was frightening. The
young man slipped out of his room in time to see Jesus going down the
stairs. He watched in awe as Jesus swung open the door, no need to be
Satan stood at the door this time demanding to be let in. “What do
you want, Satan?” the Lord asked. The devil bowed low in the presence of the
Lord, “So sorry, I seem to have gotten the wrong address.” And with that, he
and the demons left.
Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He will take all that you
give Him but nothing more. How much of your heart have you given to the
Lord? Are you keeping a portion of it away from Him? Why do you call me Lord
and not listen to what I say? Are you ready to let Jesus have authority over
your whole life? Are we listening?
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
RAIN WASHES AWAY CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES - Keith Rocco entered
the weekend needing to sweep the SKMod events at Thompson, Stafford and
Waterford for a chance at the Whelen All-American Series National
Championship. Thursday night at Thompson he had a few additional things on
his plate other than driving. He had his entire stable of rides along with
substitute drivers in the house to bring the car count up. I thought of the
game show “What’s My Line”, will the real Keith Rocco please drive to the
The race didn’t play out to Keith’s advantage going green to
checker. Keith, after getting caught up in traffic, could only manage a
third place finish. There was still hope but the weather, as it has been for
most of the season, played into the equation.
Friday nights program at Stafford fell victim to the rain and has
been rescheduled for September 25. This puts the show outside of the window
of events that qualify for the National Championship points race. Keith’s
only hope would have been a Sunday show at Stafford .
FULLER BACK HOME - In the Super Late Model feature at
Thompson Rick Fuller finally knocked the door to Victory Lane down. Rick has
been filling in for the injured driver in the #16. It has been a few years
since Rick has visited Victory Lane, 2001 to be exact, but he knew the way.
All you needed to do was see the smile on Rick’s face to know what the
LEARNER’S PERMIT TAKES ON NEW MEANING - I remember when the
most coveted piece of paper in my life was a learner’s permit. It meant
freedom. I was one step away from being able to drive where and when I
wanted. Driving is in my blood. From my first experience when I was seven on
a snowy Route 7 in Vermont during a trip to see relatives to moving the
pickup truck for my dad, driving was something I was born for. I remember
the trips I made riding shotgun with my dad in his tractor trailer; those
were the times of my life. Driving was a milestone I longed to pass.
NASCAR has taken a step to fill the gap between running carts and
competing in full size cars. They have lowered the entry level age to
fourteen and will allow younger drivers to compete in the entry level
divisions at their sanctioned tracks. This will provide experience for the
next generation of drivers while also providing control over the process. It
will be interesting to see how each track structures the divisions for the
new young guns.
I would like to see them compete against each other. It would be
great if a division is added for the learners permit age group. I liken it
to the SK light division rule at Stafford that let only new drivers from
lower divisions compete for the first few years. I think doing this will
keep some of the challenges that come when kids competing against adults in
check. We need to remember that at fourteen and fifteen we still have young
minds that we are forming.
NHMS BOUND - This week has us headed back to NHMS for the
first race of the chase. Rev. Dan and I will be playing some tag team this
weekend as I will be officiating the wedding for Stafford Late Model Driver
Michael Bennett and Lindsay Palko while Rev. Dan will be competing in a
Faster Pastor Race on Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl. We are looking
forward to a busy but great weekend, see you there.
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Until next time, remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
DICK & JUDY WIBBELSMAN - Gainesville, FL RWJM Advisor and Counselor wife
share their 41st anniversary.
BOB & CAROL PRATT - The brother of dirt Mod driver Richie Pratt and
wife share their 31st anniversary.
EARL & PAM KRAUSE - The Area Auto Racing News Assitant to the Editor and
columnist/ ARDC PR Director/Announcer and budding TV racing personality
along with his best friend wife have their 38th anniversary.
SONNY & AMY STRUPP - Grandparents of Bill Darcy of Darcy Racing and the
#24 Micro-Sprint celebrate 62 years together.
JOSEPH & JUTTA ARENA - This Kensington, CT Riverside Park Speedway
couple have their 17th anniversary.
BOB BRUNNELL - Peru, NY NASCAR CWES semi-retired driver/ team owner.
TOMMY CLOCE - Canton, NY NASCAR WMT/NASCAR CWES driver, son of
well-known team owner, Ed.
TIM ZOCK - Youngsville, PA NASCAR CWES driver.
BILL DUGGAN - Belmont, NH LM driver.
DARREN BRASSFIELD - Los Galos, CA IMSA GT driver.
JOE BRADY - Stoughton, MA legendary #00 NASCAR WMT team owner.
TARA MENSCHNER - Daughter of Wall Chaplain Bob Menschner.
PAT SPENCER - Wife of driver/TV personality, Jimmy.
DENNIS SAVAGE - Lisbon, CT Producer/Host of TV's "God's Masterpiece."
DEREK FELTENBERGER - The son of Grandview/ Big Diamond flagger/
photographer MIke and wife Mena.
BORIS SAID III - Carlsbad, CA NASCAR CTS and occasional NASCAR CWES/NSC
LOU CICCONI, JR. - The famous Aston, PA ARDC and more Midget driver.
FRANK JASHEMBOWSKI - Orange County Fairgrounds Speedway dirt Modified
LARRY VASSAR - Southington, CT ProStock team owner.
HAROLD BURDICK - Danielson, CT go-kart driver/owner and Stafford
Motor Speedway announcing team member.
STEVE RUBIN - Owner of the New Thompson Speedway excellent food
concessions from Needham, MA.
HENRY ST. JOHN - Proprietor of Jewett City Service in CT.
SHARON OKULA - Wife of Wayne, Team manager for the #28 King Racing
Modified and Charger Driver for #67 - Riverhead Raceway
BRUNO BRACKEY - the original 'Flying Mailman', who has more wins on Long
Island than any other driver, turns 89 Bruno was driving Legends cars
throughout the Western Tier of New York well into his 70s.
BILL GUERTIN - President and co-owner with Frank Ferrara of Whip City
Speedway in Westfield, MA.
SCOTT LOVELADY - Hartsdale, AL NASCAR All Pro Series driver.
JOE HOUDE - Millbury, MA LM driver.
GEOFF BRANSCOMBE - A son of NASCAR CWES team owner/driver Babe and
JIM BRODERICK IV - "Bubba," Whip City 250cc Micro Sprint driver; son
of Jim and Debbie.
BRYAN WALL - Derry, NH Road corse CWES driver.
SCOTT NEWELL - East Windsor Speedway Modified driver.
LANCE NORICK - Oklahoma City, OK NASCAR CWTS driver.
SCOTT WEAVER - Shelby, NC Dash Series driver.
KYLE GRISSOM - A son of NASCAR driver Steve and wife Susan from
RICHARD CHILDRESS - Welcome, NC famous NNS/NSC team owner.
ARIE LUYENDYK - Holland born, Scottsdale, AZ infamous IRL retired
driver, now TV commentator.
STEVE HODDICK - Cheektowaga, NY NASCAR CWES driver.
CURTIS MARKHAM - Fredericksburg, VA NNS/NSC driver.
GARY IULG - Retired Upstate NY driving great.
FRANK COZZE - Wind Gap, PA dirt Modified ace.
TOM MAUSER - NJ asphalt Modified driver.
JEFF ZUIDEMA - No. Brookfield, MA ProStock driver.
TIM MROWKA - Torrington, CT semi-retired asphalt Modified driver.
JEFF ZERELLA - Former Fiore Gulf Racing NASCAR WMT team crewman.
JASON LaHUE - Son of White Mountain Motorsports Park LM driver Don
and wife Robin.
STEVE BOTTCHER - Son of Lehighton, PA dirt Mod driver Bobby.
SONNY STRUPP - Grandfather of Bill Darcy of Darcy Racing and the #24
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